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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: [WWW] Web analytics
Date Fri, 12 Aug 2011 22:05:08 GMT
On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 5:35 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
<> wrote:
> +1
> on no data collected before we have a clear need for it and are prepared to deal with
it responsibly

I agree, but I think we will want to enable analytics as soon as the
new wiki and website are live.  So we should get this into the privacy
policy from the start.

If you know anything about web analytics, you know that this is not
something where you ask a question today, turn it on, and have the
answer an hour later.  It requires that you collect the data over a
sustained period of time.  If you want to make informed decisions, and
have a statistically sound basis for using the data, you need to have
collected it in advance.  You are typically asking what the effect of
a change has been on access patterns.  So you need baseline data, as
well as post-change data.  And often you want retrospective data to
inform a decision today.

Remember, we're not collecting any personally identifying information
here.  It is aggregate information about what countries vistors are
coming from, at what times of the day, what pages are most frequently
visited,  how long they are lingering on various pages, what websites
are referring the most visitors, what browsers most of them are using,

>  - Dennis
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Simon Phipps []
> Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 14:15
> To:
> Subject: Re: [WWW] Web analytics
> On 12 Aug 2011, at 22:01, Rob Weir wrote:
>> On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM, Simon Phipps <> wrote:
>>> I suggest the right question is "which project members need which data and why".
The answer today may well be "none", since we don't actually have any resources to visit yet.
This is also likely to change over time, and we'll need to add analytics as and when people
request (and justify) according to their specific needs and remove them when they're no longer
>>> I suggest we resist the idea of capturing bulk analytics "just because", and
instead devise a lightweight process for justifying and requesting collection of data. I'd
guess there is already a process to copy somewhere in Apache - any mentors with suggestions
where to look?
>> I see that tracking code is used with the websites of most of the
>> groups you are affiliated with:  LibreOffice (Piwik), ForgeRock
>> (Google Analytics, including in the community pages) and OSI  (Google
>> Analytics).  And as was mentioned before, uses Google
>> Analytics currently.
> It is indeed endemic. We have a unique opportunity to address the issue thoughtfully.
And by the way I am delighted you're paying such close attention to my career.
>> Have you given them similar advice?
> Where possible, yes. Abuse of personal data is something which concerns me greatly.
>> Or is there something special
>> about OpenOffice at Apache
> Yes. At the moment as far as I am aware AOOo has no significant resources of interest
to non-project-members and no groups of members with active applications for the data from
analytics. Both situations will certainly change, but on best YAGNI principles I suggest doing
what's needed when it's needed, on the basis of actual documented requirements.
>> that suggests that we should not be
>> optimizing our website based on visitor stats like others, including
>> LibreOffice, are?
> When we have an end-user website capable of optimisation along with project members stepping
forward to harvest the data, process it and act upon it, that will be a fine thing to do.
What's needed, when it's needed.
> S.

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